Saturday, November 14, 2009

State Department uses Islamist Anti-American Propaganda to Criticize Turkish Army Kicking Out Islamists

Barry Rubin

I’ve already written about how former President Bill Clinton, in line with the Obama Administration’s thinking, acted as an apologist and even booster of Turkey’s Islamist regime. Now the State Department is doing it. Indeed, this is a fascinating little example of how thoroughly Islamists bamboozle the West.

The State Department issued its annual religious freedom report. If you look at the section on Turkey, you will see that a main—perhaps the main—source is Mazlum-Der, which is the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People. What could be better than human rights and helping oppressed people? Unfortunately, Mazlum-Der is a front for the Islamist government in Turkey and the main oppressed people it’s concerned about are Hamas, Hizballah, and others of that ilk.

In fact, this group is headed by an Islamist member of parliament for the Adiyaman district who comes from the ruling party, Faruk Unsal, who has been personally involved in repressing those criticizing the regime through trumped-up treason charges! [To hide Unsal's identity, his name appears only on the Turkish, not the English language site, and neither tell you about his political role.]

As for the group, to give an example, on May 1 it organized a rally in Diyarbakir with Kurdish Hizballah calling for the regime to uninvite Israel to joint militry maneuvers. Clearly, the government had already decided to do so and assigned its front groups to show "popular support" for that step.
So the State Department, by using a radical group as a source, falls into the Islamist trap in several ways:

--Religious Muslims in Turkey are portrayed as victims of the military and judiciary. These are, in fact, the only two institutions that the AK hasn’t infiltrated and largely taken over yet. So Islamists use the State Department to discredit the army and courts to make it easier to complete their seizure of the state apparatus.

--There is no mention whatsoever of the real oppression going on, which is of secularists who are being forced out of jobs, not given government contracts, sent to jail, sued by the government, or even facing violence.

--While the report does discuss the situation of non-Muslims in Turkey, it leaves out the virulent antisemitism that the regime has been promoting. In addition, it doesn’t mention the fact that the government refuses to legalize the prayer houses of the Alevis, who constitute 10 to 20 percent of the population.

What is particularly amazing is that the U.S. government accepts the word of an Islamist, anti-American group which of course wants as many radical Islamists as possible in the army to fulfill its own goals. Such soldiers, of course, could commit acts of terrorism (against Americans, too), pass information onto Iran, serve as regime spies against pro-democratic forces, and ensure that the military never blocks the regime’s attempt to become a dictatorship.

The report's wording has to be seen to be believed:

“Officers and noncommissioned officers were dismissed periodically for ignoring repeated warnings from superior officers and for maintaining ties to what the military considered Islamic fundamentalist organizations…."

So could the United States be accused of human rights' violations if it had dismissed a certain army major rather than waiting until he murdered 13 people and murdered a score of others?

"Some members of the military, judiciary, and other branches of the bureaucracy continued to wage campaigns against what they label as Islamic fundamentalism. These groups view religious fundamentalism as a threat to the secular state.

"Reports by Mazlum-Der, the media, and others indicated that the military periodically dismissed religiously observant Muslims from military service. Such dismissals were based on behavior that military officials believed identified these individuals as Islamic fundamentalists, which officials believed could indicate disloyalty to the secular state.”

Islamic fundamentalists in the army are a threat to the secular state? Where could they possibly have gotten that idea?

Note, too, the contradiction. The army says it warns people first and then dismisses them only if they refuse to break connections to radical groups. But Islamists claim these soldiers are being persecuted because they are "religiously observant Muslims." This is nonsense.

But, remember, this is what the U.S. army would have been charged with if it had taken action against an officer who applauded the murder of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, then claimed he was being discriminated against simply because he was a Muslim.

And this is a violation of religious freedom? Remember that an “Islamic fundamentalist” is someone who holds a political ideology advocating Turkey becoming an Islamist dictatorship. What next? The State Department criticizes Egypt or Jordan for kicking “Islamic fundamentalists” out of their armies?

Well, at least the U.S. government is consistent since--judging from the evidence coming out after the Ft. Hood murders--it doesn't remove Jihadists from its own military.

Obama's failure, Netanyahu's opportunit


Once again, US President Barack Obama has demonstrated his intention of "putting light" between America and Israel. His hostility toward Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the latter's visit to Washington this week was breathtaking. It isn't every day that you can see an American president leaving the prime minister of an allied government twisting in the wind for weeks before deciding to grant him an audience at the White House.

It isn't every day that a visiting leader from a strategically vital US ally is brought into the White House in an unmarked van in the middle of the night rather than greeted like a friend at the front door; is forbidden to have his picture taken with the president; is forced to leave the White House alone, through a side exit; and is ordered to keep the contents of his meeting with the president secret.

Ahead of Obama's meeting with Netanyahu, The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama was effectively attempting to blackmail the Israeli premier by conditioning the meeting on Netanyahu's willingness to make tangible concessions to the Palestinians during his speech before the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

Although the report was denied by the Obama administration, if it was true, such a move by the White House would be without precedent in the history of US relations with Israel. And if untrue, the very fact that the story rings true is indicative of the wretched state of US relations with Israel since Obama entered office.

Obama's hostility was evident as well during his meeting with 50 Jewish leaders at the White House this week. In an obvious bid to split American Jewry away from Israel, Obama refused to discuss Israel or Iran with the concerned American Jewish leaders. As far as Obama was concerned, all they deserved from him was a primer on the brilliance of his economic policies and the worthiness of his plan to socialize the American healthcare industry. His foreign policy is none of their business.

Obama's meeting with American Jewish leaders was supposed to be a consolation prize for American Jews after Obama canceled his first public address to American Jews since taking office. The White House claimed that he canceled the speech because his visit to the Fort Hood memorial service made it impossible for him to attend. But then the conference was a three-day affair. The organizers would probably have been happy to reschedule.

Instead, as Iran races to the nuclear finish line, America's Jewish leaders were forced to sit through White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's kitschy Borscht Belt schmooze about his bar mitzva.

The ironic thing about Obama's nastiness toward Netanyahu and his arrogant treatment of the American Jewish community is that while it has made him the first US president to have no credibility among Israelis and has caused a 14 percent drop in his support among American Jews, it has failed utterly to earn him the trust of the Muslim world.

Today the Fatah movement is in disarray. Last week its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, announced his intention to retire and has placed the blame for his decision on the Obama administration as well as on Israel. Key Palestinian spokesmen like Saeb Erekat have declared the death of the peace process and called for the renewal of the jihad against Israel.

As for the larger Muslim world, a report this week in The New York Times stated that the US's key Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have been perilously weakened since Obama took office. Their diminished influence has been accompanied by the rapid rise of Iran and Syria. Both of these rogue states have been on the receiving end of continuous wooing by Obama administration officials who seem ready to do just about anything to appease them.

In the meantime, Iran's Hizbullah proxy in Lebanon has again managed to regain control over Lebanon's government, despite its defeat in June's parliamentary election. Making full use of the fact that it fields the most powerful army in the country and owing as well to the US's decision to abandon the pro-Western March 14 movement in favor of an approach that makes no distinction between America's friends and foes in Lebanon, Hizbullah strong-armed its way back to the driver's seat in the new Lebanese government.

AS FOR Hizbullah's Iranian bosses, far from convincing them to moderate their policies, the Obama administration's efforts to appease the ayatollahs have emboldened Iran's theocratic leaders to adopt ever-more radical positions against the US. As senior US officials try to make light of the fact that in the past week Iran has thrice rejected their latest offer to have the US, Russia and France enrich uranium for them, the Iranians announced that they will try three hapless American hikers for espionage. The three young Americans were abducted by Iranian security forces along the Iran-Iraq border in Kurdistan four months ago.

The fact that Obama's policies have all failed so spectacularly presents a unique opportunity for Israel to move its policies in a bold new direction. Many commentators and policy-makers have claimed that it falls on Israel to help Obama succeed where he has failed. In their view, Israel must go out of its way to establish a Palestinian state during Obama's term of office or accept the blame for any renewal of the Palestinian terror war against it. Such voices - most strongly represented this week by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman - have tried to blame the failure of Obama's attempt to reinstate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on Israel's alleged intransigence.

In response to these allegations, this week Netanyahu expressed profound and urgent interest in holding negotiations with Abbas. This move was ill-advised. Although it is true that by proclaiming his devotion to the so-called peace process, Netanyahu was able to deflect some of the White House's attacks against him, the short-term advantage it brought him this week in Washington is eclipsed by the long-term damage such an approach causes the country. In the long-run, Israel is harmed when its leaders promote the fiction that it is possible to reach an accord with the Palestinians that will bring about the formal and peaceful establishment of a Palestinian state.

As Netanyahu prepared to fly off to Washington, Abbas made clear that he will not make any concessions to Israel for peace. Together with his fellow Fatah members, Abbas made clear that like Hamas, Fatah does not recognize Israel's right to exist, does not support peaceful coexistence with Israel, and shares Hamas's dedication to continued war against Israel.

For their part, pro-Palestinian lobbyists Robert Malley and Hussein Agha are now arguing that the two-state solution has failed and that the time has come for a one-state solution in which Israel ceases to exist as a Jewish state by accepting the Palestinians as full citizens in one binational state.

The Israeli Left, as well as the State Department and several European governments, has now embraced the unelected Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad's plan to unilaterally declare Palestinian independence in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem in two years. The aim of the Fayad plan is to coerce Israel into abandoning all the lands it took control over during the Six Day War, by implicitly threatening to deploy international forces throughout "Palestine" that will be charged with "protecting" the new Palestinian state from the IDF.

BOTH THE Fayad-plan supporters and the one-state solution crowd believe that their plans can indirectly advance the so-called peace process. In their view, frightened of both a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence and of a binational state, Netanyahu will abandon his demand for a demilitarized Palestinian state and for defensible borders for Israel and voluntarily withdraw the IDF and the 250,000 Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria to within the 1949 armistice lines. But the fact is that there is no reason for Netanyahu to fear their plans. Indeed it is high time for Israel to call their bluffs.

The shocking truth is that the demographic threat is an empty threat. The demographic doomsday scenarios for Israel are all based on falsified Palestinian census data from 1997 that inflated the number of Palestinians in Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza by 50%. As the independent American-Israel Demographic Research Group demonstrated in early 2005, Israel has no reason to be concerned that by maintaining its control over Judea and Samaria, it will become a majority Arab state. Today, the combined population of Israel and Judea and Samaria leaves Jews with a two-thirds majority. With Jewish immigration and fertility rates rising, negative Arab immigration rates, and decreasing Arab fertility rates, the long-term projections for Israel's demographic viability are all positive.

As Netanyahu knows, there is consensus support among Israelis for his plan to ensure that the country retains defensible borders in perpetuity. This involves establishing permanent Israeli control over the Jordan Valley and the large Jewish population blocs in Judea and Samaria. In light of the well-recognized failure of the two-state solution, Hamas's takeover of Gaza and the disintegration of Fatah accompanied by the shattering of the myth of Fatah moderation, Israel should strike out on a new course and work toward the integration of Judea and Samaria, including its Palestinian population, into Israeli society. In the first instance, this will require the implementation of Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and the large settlement blocs.

Replacing the military government in these areas with Israel's more liberal legal code will also advance Netanyahu's economic peace plan, which envisions expanding the Palestinian economy in Judea and Samaria by among other things reintegrating it into Israel's booming economy. This plan would reward political moderation while marginalizing terrorists in Palestinian society. In so doing, it will advance the cause of peaceful coexistence over the long-term far better than the failed two-state solution. Far from engendering peace, the two-state paradigm empowered the most corrupt and violent actors in Palestinian society, at the expense of its most productive and moderate citizens.

Obama's disgraceful treatment of Israel and, for that matter, his atrocious treatment of the majority of America's allies in the Middle East and throughout the world, has strengthened the hands of America's worst enemies and made the world a much more dangerous place. But his obvious failures provide Israel with an opportunity to take control of events and change the situation for the betterment of Israel and the Palestinians alike.

Applying Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and the major Israeli population blocs in Judea and Samaria will probably not win Netanyahu many friends in the Obama White House. But if we learned anything from Obama's insulting treatment of Netanyahu and American Jews this week, we learned that regardless of what Israel does, the Obama administration has no interest in being his friend.

This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1258027277862&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Friday, November 13, 2009

PA: Israel to focus on Syria

Source says Palestinians believe Israel deciding to focus efforts on renewing talks with Damascus, are concerned that Netanyahu may use talks to blame PA for failed negotiations, threaten to unilaterally declare Palestinian state

Ynet reporters

Despite Israel's denial that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a secret message of reconciliation to Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Palestinian Authority is convinced that something has changed in the Israeli approach, and that Jerusalem is now planning to focus its efforts on renewing talks with Damascus. A PA source told Ynet that the Palestinians received guarantees from two Arab states, and information from European sources that Israel has reached understandings with the American government according to which efforts will be focused on reviving the Israeli-Syrian track in the near future.

The source said this does seem like another Israeli attempt to maneuver between the various channels, but more like a strategic decision on Israel's part to focus on Syria.

"We understand that this time the Israelis are determined to make the most of talks in the Syrian track, after they noticed that the Palestinian leadership is not willing to discuss any options of a temporary Palestinian state," the source said.

According to the source, at least on the outside, it seems the PA is not troubled by Israeli contact with its northern neighbor: "It's not the talks that are troubling, but the fact that Netanyahu will sell them to the International community, and wave it in the face of those who demand he renew talks with us."

A Fatah source told Ynet that Israel's turn in the direction of Syria, if it turns out to be significant, and the fact that the Americans are failing to pressure Israel into a settlement freeze, "will lead us to reconsider the entire perception of the political process and the character of the PA and its essence. At this point, as nice as it may sound, there will be no steering of the masses towards a popular uprising, but there will be progress in the construction of an international relations that do not depend on the peace process, and which will be aimed at garnering maximum support of our moves, such as the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"No Closer"

Arlene Kushner

.to understanding what is going on. Not happy about what I'm seeing. But also certain that what I'm seeing is not the whole story, and that until we know that story judgment is impossible.
From Washington, PM Netanyahu flew to Paris, where he met with President Sarkozy. News reports today have it that Netanyahu delivered a message to Syrian president Bashar Assad that he would be willing to resume negotiations with Syria at any time and any place, without preconditions. Assad is supposed to be in Paris to meet with Sarkozy today and presumably will get this message.

Huh? you may be asking. What?

Assad is the one who has been putting out feelers regarding seeking "peace" in recent days, but has explained that achieving peace doesn't come only via negotiations, it also involves "resistance."

Syria was the destination point for the horrendous collection of weapons confiscated on the arms ship Francop. Just as Syria has fostered the smuggling of weapons across its border to Hezbollah in Lebanon, in violations of the embargo on arms to Hezbollah. And Assad has declared how solid is his nation's relationship with Iran.

Does Netanyahu really see it as constructive to have peace negotiations with Syria now? Does he think there may be the opportunity to reach an honest agreement that is beneficial to us?


I may be one of the last hold-outs on the right. It's possible that Netanyahu has flipped. It's possible he has sold out. (I know I'm likely to hear from people who tell me it's obvious he has.) But I'm going to say what I said the other day: I don't know. I am nervous as hell, but will not yet judge because my information is insufficient.

I remain ever mindful of the broader context -- including the need for support with regard to Iran -- that must be factored into the equation. It's a big step from selling Israel out to playing a game in order to position Israel better at a very threatening time. That game is dangerous, but Netanyahu may be proceeding with appropriate intent. May. We have not yet heard about anything that he has actually conceded or caved on. No concessions he has made. It's all worried speculation. And a lot of secrecy.

Consider this: Assad's unequivocal demand is to have the Golan Heights returned to Syria. Matter of national pride and all that. He always says there will be no peace with Israel without that.

Netanyahu knows this very well. He knows that this is a pre-condition that Assad insists upon, whether formally or not. Yet he says he is willing to enter negotiations with Syria if there are no pre-conditions. Does he expect at the get-go that his offer will be rejected by Assad? Is he planning a "pretend" negotiation that will lead nowhere? he prepared to relinquish the Golan under the "right" circumstances?

According to the newspaper al-Arabiya , Netanyahu said in Paris that he would relinquish the Golan in return for peace. The prime minister's office absolutely denies this.


The Golan is legally part of Israel proper, governed under Israeli civil law. That makes its status different legally from that of Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu cannot simply sign away the Golan -- the process would be stringent.

I will not review here in detail all of the many reasons why we should never, ever give up the Golan. But if this issue becomes serious, you can bet I'll come back to it.


Let us, for the moment, return to our other headache, the Palestinians:

A senior official in Fatah announced today that the PA Central Elections Committee is going to recommend that the elections (for president and the legislature), scheduled for January 24, be postponed because it would not be possible for Palestinians in Gaza to vote.

Gee, what a surprise.


Understand please that Abbas has not resigned. He simply declared with great drama that he was weary and would not run in the next elections. So... if the elections are postponed until who-knows-when, for the interim he is still PA president.

And factor this in, as well: According to the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in London (as cited in IMRA), the Fatah Central Committee has declared itself firmly in favor of Abbas as the candidate for the presidency. (Abbas has been pumping for this sort of endorsement.)

What is more, according to this paper, in the event that Abbas does decide not to run when the election is finally held, there is no support within the Central Committee for the candidacy of Marwan Barghouti, who is a member of the Central Committee now, but serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison. (The assumption is made, repeatedly, that he'll get out in the course of a trade, and thus be able to function politically within the PA.)

This is interesting, as Barghouti is frequently touted as a possible successor to Abbas and the man best able to make things happen. There are even left-wing Israelis who have -- ludicrously -- pumped for this.


Lastly we have this: According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, Hamas leader Dr Aziz Ad-Dweik has announced that by the end of this month Hamas will sign the reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt. Egypt has penciled into the margins of the agreement some reservations voiced by Hamas -- what, specifically, was not explained, but we know that attending to Hamas reservations can only lead to greater radicalism. At any rate, Hamas now feels its concerns have been attended to.

Declared Dweik, "By the end of the month you'll hear what will delight your hearts."

The PA already signed the Egyptian proposal, but will have to sign, or initial, the new, adjusted agreement. No problem is anticipated on this score (but who knows). The signing would signal the beginning of the process of establishing a unity coalition.

Then there would be a whole new drama to attend to, with a different dynamic in place.

There are all sorts of heavy implications, regarding the "peace process," establishment of a state, and the training by the US of PA security forces (a big concern). I will visit each of these issues as the situation unfolds.

I am particularly interested in seeing how those supporting a Palestinian state will respond to a Fatah-Hamas coalition (should it evolve), and what sorts of pretzels they'll turn themselves into as they seek to justify it. I hope that the Hamas reservations are sufficiently blatant in their radical perspective so that it will be impossible to claim that Hamas has "moderated."


Thank Heaven for Shabbat, especially after this upside-down week. Next posting will be early next week.

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Abomination accepted: U.S. shamefully silent in the face of UN Israel-bashers

The United States stood abysmally, disgracefully silent last week as the United Nations General Assembly debated a resolution endorsing the stacked investigation that accused Israel of committing crimes against humanity in the Gaza conflict. Would that the Obama State Department had loudly and clearly denounced the so-called Goldstone Report before the assembly voted overwhelmingly to support the document's findings.

No such exercise of American moral authority took place during the debate. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice issued no condemnation on the order of the one that was spoken by Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, who described the report as "conceived in hate and executed in sin."

Instead, Rice skipped the discussion and permitted her deputy to attend in silence. Only when Rice's second-stringer cast one of the few votes against endorsing the report did the U.S. offer an "explanation" in utterly legalistic diplospeak.

This excessive politeness was utterly misplaced and horribly destructive. The Goldstone Report was not merely "deeply flawed" or "excessively negative" or filled with "overreaching recommendations," as the U.S. said. Nor was it remotely satisfactory for America to reach this bottom line: "Nevertheless, we also have real concerns about this resolution."

NY Daily News

What the U.S. needed to say in plain, unequivocal language was that the report, commissioned by the anti-Semitic Human Rights Council, a body populated by the world's worst human rights abusers, was illegitimate at its root, filled with specious assertions of fact and based on constructions of international law never before seen and never to be seen again.

In other words, it was a monumental frameup.

The sponsors wanted to find Israel guilty for pursuing Hamas in Gaza after Hamas had fired more than 7,000 rockets into Israel with hardly a peep from the international community. And the sponsors got exactly what they wanted, with a tut-tut or two toward Hamas, whose name escaped mention in the U.S. resolution.

Odd, don't you think?

By calibrating discussion of this point and that, by giving the nod to war crimes investigations by both Israel and the Palestinians and by concluding, "We do not think it appropriate to endorse the report in its entirety," America gave backers of the General Assembly resolution an invaluable gift: respect where none was deserved.

Read more:

Nasrallah: Obama fully committed to Israel

During 'Shahid Day' speech, Hezbollah leader says hopes for change in 'savage policy' towards Arab world quickly faded, US committed to Israeli interests

Roee Nahmias

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah slammed US President Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying, "When he was elected, many relied on him and believed it would mark a major turnaround in favor of the Arab world, but this notion quickly dissipated." Speaking in Beirut on "Shahid Day," the Shiite group's leader claimed that Obama's commitment to Israel's security was evident in his speech aired this week during a memorial ceremony in Tel Aviv marking the 14th anniversary of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.

He said the world hoped that the new leadership in the US would "try and change the savage American policy, but the result was a complete American commitment to Israel's interests and security."

"From a military perspective, we saw the joint American-Israeli drills. Then the Israelis declared that the purpose of these exercises was to deal with rocket attacks from Gaza, Lebanon and Iran," said the Shiite group's leader.

"For the first time since the inception of the Zionist entity, the US is prepared to actively participate in any conflict (Israel) will force on Lebanon, Gaza, Syria or Iran," he said, "We did not see this during the Bush Administration."

Nasrallah continued to say that Obama said vowed to "force the enemy's government to halt construction in the (West Bank) settlements to resume (peace negotiations). I said at the time that this was no more than an American ploy to earn the Arabs' support.

"Later we saw how the US withdrew from (the demand to halt settlement construction) and called on the Palestinians to return to the negotiation table with no preconditions," he said.

"Obama's deception has been exposed sooner than expected. The Israelis are continuing to train, arm themselves and spy and are using every minor incident in Lebanon as a pretext to issue more threats of war," said Nasrallah."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rep. Sue Myrick Takes a Stand on Obama, Fort Hood and CAIR

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Representative Sue Myrick (R, NC-9), who is leading the charge nationally on issues related to terrorism. The founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, she has recently called for an investigation of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). FP: Rep. Sue Myrick, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Myrick: Thank you Jamie.

FP: It is an honor to speak with you.

I’d like to talk to you today about a few things connected to our terror war, especially the tragedy that just occurred at Fort Hood and also your call for CAIR to be investigated.

Let’s start with the jihad at Fort Hood. What are your thoughts?

Myrick: My first thoughts were of the families of the victims. These are our soldiers, the people who sign up to defend our country, and you just can’t imagine what their loved ones are going through. But this isn’t something that we can ignore. The shooter was radicalized and was a jihadist. The several terror plots uncovered across the country over the past few months all have one common thing: they are all connected by a radical global ideology that is self-identified by its believers as jihadist, or “jihadiyya.” These men were from different backgrounds and races, yet they were all guided by this radical ideology. The American people need to wake up and realize this is not going to stop. We need to seriously address the issue of this radical ideology. That is why I have been working with many mainstream moderate Muslims, and trying to help empower them to speak out and confront this radical ideology within their community.

FP: And this radical ideology has been very much been protected and bolstered by groups like CAIR.

Tell us why you have called for an investigation of that supposed Muslim “civil rights” organization.

Myrick: The FBI has publicly stated CAIR has ties to HAMAS, a designated terrorist organization. This was clearly stated in a letter the FBI sent to Sen. Jon Kyl on April 28, 2009:

“As you know, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in the United States v. Holy Land Foundation et al. (Cr. No. 3:04-240-P (N.D.TX.). During that trial, evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus and its Executive Director) and the Palestinian Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestinian Committee and HAMAS, which was designated a terrorist organization in 1995. In light of that evidence, the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and the FBI.”

If CAIR has been successful at placing interns on the offices of Members who serve on the Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees for the purpose of influencing policy, the Members have a right to know. The American people have a right to know.

Why would anyone allow a group, who the FBI says is tied to terrorism, to influence national security policy, or any policy for that matter? If the FBI has cut ties with CAIR, Congress should wake up and do the same.

FP: Why do you think Congress has been so slow moving in on CAIR?

Myrick: We are not the first Members of Congress who have raised questions about CAIR. In February of this year, Senators John Kyl, Charles Schumer and Tom Coburn sent a letter to the FBI expressing support for the Bureau cutting ties with CAIR, and called for a government-wide policy of not working with CAIR. However, the first thing that CAIR does when anyone – government or otherwise – speaks out against them is to label them as hate mongers, bigots and racists. It’s this type of negative image that has probably kept more Members of Congress from speaking out against CAIR, which has ties to the terrorist organization HAMAS.

FP: David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry just came out with their new book, Muslim Mafia. You wrote the foreword to this revealing book, which exposes how a Muslim mafia has infiltrated many layers of our government and society. What do you make of the book and its message?

Myrick: It’s a very eye-opening book that I think the American people should read so that they have a better understanding of just how pervasive the influence of this radical organization is within our government. I find it very telling that CAIR has only attacked the authors of the book and has not disputed any of the claims made in the book or the validity of any of the documents.

FP: CAIR has filed suit against the David Gaubatz, one of the Muslim Mafia authors. Your thoughts?

Myrick: I’m not surprised that CAIR has filed a lawsuit against Gaubatz, but I’m glad that this matter is getting attention. I say that we investigate everything. Let’s investigate the claims made by the authors and how they got the material. And let’s investigate and shine some light on CAIR’s books, operations, and to whom they are connected. No matter what happens, we need to make sure that the facts prevail.

FP: Brigitte Gabriel’s organization ACT! for America has launched a national petition calling for a government investigation of CAIR. People can join in signing this petition at

Your take on an effort like this?

Myrick: I’m thankful for any group that’s willing to take a stand on this issue. The American people aren’t going to get the facts about CAIR from the mainstream media, so it’s important that groups like ACT! For America get the information out to their membership.

FP: Your views on the Obama administration’s handling of national security so far as it pertains to the threat of radical Islam on our territory?

Myrick: The President’s actions with regard to national security haven’t helped us at all, especially when talking about radical Islamists and self-proclaimed jihadists. Earlier this year, the administration decided that “jihadists” would be called “violent extremists” and the “global war on terror” is now a “transnational conflict.” What the President seems to be missing is that the terrorists call themselves “jihadists.” If you look at recent FBI reports regarding the terrorist plots uncovered in the US over the past few months – all of them state the suspects wanted to commits “jihad.” Again, this is how the terrorists label themselves. If we would label them as such, we could know our enemy, and their goals, objectives and beliefs, to ensure we can defeat their efforts to harm us.

The administration has also released our interrogation techniques to the world. No matter where you stand on interrogation in general, we can agree that letting the bad guys know what’s going to happen to them when they’re caught doesn’t make us safer.

CIA agents are also being investigated, for a second time on the same evidence, based on what we asked them to do to keep us safe. What incentive do current agents have to do their jobs if they know they’re going to be punished for it?

FP: What do we need to do to more effectively confront Islamic jihad?

Myrick: We must identify our enemy. We are fighting against radical Islamists who are using political Islam to advance their agenda to create a Caliphate, an Islamic state, and jihadists who use violent means to do the same. We need to educate the American public about our enemy, so they know their goals, objectives, and strategies, so that we can stand together and confront them. We must also make sure that we maintain, and strengthen our national security policy as well as ensure our intelligence officials, and military, have the resources and the freedom that they need to do their jobs and keep us safe.

I also encourage people to visit my website and learn more about the work we are doing on these issues. We have recently released the “Wake Up America 2.0 Agenda”, which tries to set a national security agenda on these issues.

FP: Rep. Sue Myrick, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview. It was a pleasure and an honor to speak with you today.

Myrick: It’s been my pleasure. Thank you.

Center Field: Delegitimizing the delegitimizers


November 10 marked the 34th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's passage of the infamous 'Zionism is racism' resolution. That day, noting that it was the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazis' countrywide pogrom on "the night of broken glass," UN ambassador Chaim Herzog denounced the resolution. "I stand here not as a supplicant... For the issue is neither Israel nor Zionism," Herzog said. "The issue is the continued existence of this organization, which has been dragged to its lowest point of discredit by a coalition of despots and racists. The vote of each delegation will record in history its country's stand on anti-Semitic racism and anti-Judaism. You yourselves bear the responsibility for your stand before history, for as such will you be viewed in history. We, the Jewish people, will not forget."

As he concluded, remembering how his father, Palestine's chief rabbi in the 1930s, protested the British White Paper restricting Jewish immigration, Herzog ripped up his copy of the resolution.

Herzog could tear the resolution to tatters. The UN could rescind it in 1991. Yet 34 years later this new Big Lie - whose Soviet and Nazi roots historian Bernard Lewis uncovered - persists. Jews, long victimized by racists and disgusted by racism, have been tagged as racists.

Israel, the Jewish people's collective entity, has been compared to apartheid South Africa, with the Palestinian-Israeli national conflict cast falsely as a racial conflict. And just as anti-apartheid activists once nobly agitated to boycott South African products, divest from South African companies and sanction South African racists, an ignoble BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine) seeks to impose similar punishments on Israel.

BDS sounds like a new communicable disease; in many ways it is. It is viral and pathological; we ignore it at our peril.

One of the first sessions held as the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities convened this Sunday in Washington featured speakers who understand what Herzog understood, that this campaign reflects on its perpetuators - its perpetrators. It reflects their bias, their double standards, their blindness to the sins of others and their myopic obsession with Israel's imperfections.

Herzog understood something else too. Israel's adversaries have given it a gift of sorts by drawing a clear line in the sand. The BDS debate is not about "occupation" or borders or peace processes. It is not about Likud vs. Labor or Meretz vs. Shas. The BDS campaign assails Israel's legitimacy, declaring it so odious that no one should drink any Israeli wine, no one should enjoy any Israeli film, no one should collaborate with any Israeli academic. This BDS movement is an obscene campaign of blacklisting, demonizing and slandering, as activists in Toronto have redefined it, understanding we must name, shame and reframe.

SO FAR, the warfare has been asymmetrical. Facing the systematic BDS campaign to delegitimize Israel, Jewish groups have responded sporadically, haphazardly. But there is a growing awareness that the Jewish community needs a sophisticated, coordinated strategy. As Herzog's UN colleague Daniel Patrick Moynihan would later write: "It would be tempting to see in this propaganda nothing more than bigotry of a quite traditional sort that can, sooner or later, be overcome. But the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist campaign is not uninformed bigotry, it is conscious politics... It is not merely that our adversaries have commenced an effort to destroy the legitimacy of a kindred democracy through the incessant repetition of the Zionist-racist lie. It is that others can come to believe it also. Americans among them."

At the session which I moderated, and which attracted an overflow crowd, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called this fight "the defining issue of our time." He said the Jewish people, despite our pride in being a tolerant people, must have "zero tolerance for this intolerance."

Professor Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian minister of justice and attorney-general, analyzed the anti-Israel "lawfare," showing how the language of human rights - the important infrastructure of international law - is hijacked to legalize and legitimize Israel's delegitimization.

He showed how this unrighteous assault using righteous concepts sought to make Israel today's "new anti-Christ." Cotler, a noted human rights activist, also reported that when he was invited to join a UN human rights inquiry whose biased anti-Israel mandate predetermined a guilty verdict, he said no. Cotler refused to be "a Jewish fig leaf," for a corrupted, anti-Israel, human rights-lynching, unlike his colleague Richard Goldstone.

The remainder of the session provided reports from the field of useful tactics to combat the Israel-haters. The Jewish community cannot do this alone. Relationships must be nurtured, grassroots must be tended to establish common cause against the forces of hatred. We must be proactive not reactive, nimble and subtle, mastering the insider lingo of each special interest group involved in a particular fight.

When boycotters targeted the Toronto International Film Festival, Hollywood heavyweights mobilized, not just to defend Israel, but to fight blacklists, which are anathema in that community. Corporations must realize how much money they will lose if the world market becomes a politically correct, divestment-strewn battlefield on which the world's despots target Israel, the perennial whipping boy, or some other perceived enemy. And soldiers fighting terror all over the world must realize that if Israel's anti-terror squads are prosecuted in international courts one day, America's or England's or Canada's war heroes could be next.

The pro-Israel community can make lemonade from these BDS lemons. In Toronto, when the BDSers boycotted Israeli wine merchants, they triggered a wave of Israeli wine purchases; when they protested a Dead Sea Scroll exhibit and the Toronto International Film Festival's tribute to Tel Aviv, they guaranteed sold-out events.

More broadly, we should seize this opportunity to reframe the debate away from the messy complexities of Israeli politics and Israeli-Palestinian disputes to the simple question the blacklisters-demonizers-slanderers raise about accepting or repudiating Israel's right to exist.

And we should recall, that just as 40 years ago the prospects of freeing Soviet Jewry seemed dim, just as a century ago the dream of a Jewish state seemed impossible, sometimes the good guys win, conditions improve, grassroots movements shape historical earthquakes.

The time to forge coalitions of the righteous against the hypocritically self-righteous has come. We need a sustained, effective, movement against the delegitimization of Israel, understanding that in defeating this Orwellian inversion of all that is good, we will restore the world's moral balance while defending the Jewish state, the Jewish people, and democracy from despots and terrorists.

The writer is professor of history at McGill University on leave in Jerusalem and the author of Why I Am A Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today and The Reagan Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.
This article can also be read at /servlet/Satellite?cid=1257770033278&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Monday, November 09, 2009

US Senators Act to Force Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( Seven United States senators have sponsored a bill that would abolish the “security” waiver that American presidents have used to prevent implementing a 1995 law declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback, a long-time supporter of Israel, introduced the bill and said, "It is long overdue for America to recognize the sovereign right of Israel to choose Jerusalem as its capital city.”

The proposed Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act law, number S. 2737, is "a bill to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel" and has six co-sponsors--five Republicans, from Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

It would remove the current waiver, which gives the president authority to delay recognition of Jerusalem as the capital on the premise that doing so would endanger the security of the United States. Previous presidents, including George W. Bush, vowed during their election campaigns they would recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish State’s capital but they have failed out to carry out their election promise.

The senators introduced the bill following last week’s visit to the United States by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who said, “I believe moving the American embassy to Jerusalem will the first step towards other embassies moving to the capital, as in every other country in the world.”

U.S. policy regards eastern Jerusalem, restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, as “occupied territory" and wants the status of the city to be part of an agreement to establish the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab state on all of the land in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The Democratic party has a majority in the Congress but includes legislators who support Israeli sovereignty over all of the capital. The certain opposition of the Obama administration to Senator Brownback's bill may prevent its passage, but the proposal will bring the status of the city to center stage.

Administration officials have increasingly found it more difficult to explain to reporters their policy in the PA-Israeli struggle, particularly in light of the refusal of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel.

Abbas announced late this week that he will not run for reelection, a move that magnified recent difficulties of U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly to satisfy reporters. He was unable to tell them on Friday if government officials have been in touch with Abbas since his announcement, and instead he repeated previous statements that the Obama government considers him a “voice of moderation.”

In answer to a question on whether there should be PA elections in January in light of the division between Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Fatah, which rules Judea and Samaria, Kelly said, “The decision to hold elections is a – is really – that's a matter for the people themselves to decide.”

Reporters noted that his statement contradicted American policy of four years that was insistent that the PA holds it first legislative election, which resulted in a surprise victor for the Hamas terrorist organization.

Erdogan says favors Bashir over Netanyahu

Turkish prime minister says he would be more comfortable talking to indicted Sudanese president than to Israeli premier. He denies Bashir is responsible for genocide in Darfur, saying 'a Muslim couldn't do such things'


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday denied that Omar Hassan al-Bashir was responsible for genocide in Darfur and said he would be more comfortable talking to the indicted Sudanese president than to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the state-run news agency Anatolian reported. "I wouldn't be able to speak with Netanyahu so comfortably but I would speak comfortably with Bashir. I say comfortably "What you've done is wrong". And I would say it to his face. Why? Because a Muslim couldn't do such things. A Muslim could not commit genocide," Anatolian quoted Erdogan as saying.

Stalled Talks
Turkey ready to further Syria-Israel dialogue / AFP
During joint press conference with French counterpart in Paris, FM Davutoglu says, 'All countries that seek peace are our strategic allies, including Israel of course'
Full story

Turkish government officials said Bashir would not attend an Islamic summit in Istanbul as planned, after the European Union raised objections to his visit.

Bashir, against whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity in Sudan's Darfur region, had announced plans to attend a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Monday.

"We have learned that he is not coming," a Turkish government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, without elaborating. Other Turkish officials, visibly relieved at the news, also confirmed that Bashir was not attending.

The ICC indicted Bashir in March on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but stopped short of including a charge of genocide. The United Nations says as many as 300,000 people have been killed since conflict erupted in Darfur in 2003, although Sudan rejects that figure.

Fraught ties

Erdogan's comments could further damage Turkey's already fraught ties with Israel, which have deteriorated since Israel's offensive earlier this year in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Turkey, which has deepened economic ties with Sudan, has not ratified the statute that established the ICC and had said it had no plans to arrest Bashir.

The mainly Muslim country, which is seeking EU membership, had come under pressure from Brussels and international human rights groups to drop Bashir from the guest list.

Campaigning group Human Rights Watch had said that NATO member Turkey's international image would "plummet" if Ankara did not bar Bashir's entry.

Bashir has travelled to African countries since his arrest warrant was issued by the ICC in March.

Iranian president in Turkey (Photo: Reuters)

Iran's anti-American President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country is engaged in a standoff with the West over Tehran's nuclear program, arrived in Istanbul on Sunday to attend the one-day OIC meeting.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in his first trip abroad since his re-election was announced this week following a fraud-marred ballot, also arrived earlier on Sunday and held bilateral talks with Turkey's President Abdullah Gul.

Western powers are seeking to exert pressure on Tehran for concessions on its nuclear program, and Ahmadinejad could use the summit to undermine efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.


Meanwhile Sunday, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that if Turkey wished to help his country, it must maintain good relations with Israel. Assad told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that Ankara had been successful in mediating between Jerusalem and Damascus fir eight months and had conveyed an important message to the West.

"Turkey must maintain good relations with Israel, otherwise how can it fill a significant role in the peace process?" he said.

Ynet contributed to this report

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Great Moments in "Psychologically Disturbed" Gunmen Committing Mass Murder

Note: This is satire designed to show the ludicrous nature of the media coverage on the Ft. Hood issue. It is not designed to trivialize a terrible event but to make people understand better what happened and how the event is being dangerously distorted.]

By Barry Rubin

When John Wilkes Booth opened fire on President Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre in April 1865, the media was puzzled. “True, the actor was outspoken in his Confederate sympathies and viewed himself as a Southerner,” said someone who knew him, “but that was no reason he might want Lincoln to be dead.” The day before he went on his shooting spree, Booth hoisted a big Confederate flag outside his hotel room. After he leaped onto the stage he shouted, "Thus ever to tyrants!" the motto of the rebel state of Virginia. The New York Times reported that Booth was psychologically unstable and was frightened of the Civil War coming to an end and having to face a peacetime actors’ surplus. “His political views had nothing to do with the motives for this tragic act,” it said, quoting experts.

After Fritz Reichmark opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Dix in January 1942 the media was puzzled. “True, he used to go to German-American Bund meetings,” said one fellow soldier, “but he only wore the swastika armband in his off-hours.” Reichmark would regale other soldiers with diatribes against the Jews, Winston Churchill, and Communists. The day before he went on his shooting spree, Reichmark gave out copies of Mein Kampf to neighbors. Soldiers who survived reported he was shouting "Heil Hitler!" while firing at them.

The New York Times reported that Reichmark was psychologically unstable and was frightened of being shipped out to North Africa because he was a coward, though this doesn’t explain his making a suicide attack when his job wouldn’t have required him to go into combat. “His German ancestry and political views had nothing to do with the motives for this tragic act,” it said, quoting experts. The newspaper urged that the main lesson coming out of this event was to fight more firmly against Germanophobia.

When Padraic O’Brian bombed a restaurant in London with massive loss of life, the media was puzzled. “True, he used to go to IRA rallies,” said a cousin, “and he would rant for hours about how the British invaders should be wiped out” but the media reported that this had nothing to do with this attack which was caused by his psychological problems. As he fired at pursuing police, O'Brian yelled: "Up the republic!"

The Guardian reported: “His Irish identity and political views had nothing to do with the motives for this tragic act.” The newspaper urged that the main lesson coming out of this event was the need to fight more firmly to ensure that Northern Ireland was handed over to the Irish Republic and that Israel be wiped off the map.

When a group of 19 terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth crashed on the way to the White House, the media was puzzled. “True, they wrote letters to Usama bin Ladin and expressed radical views but their act of violence must have been connected to their extreme poverty back in Saudi Arabia,” one expert was quoted as saying. When informed the young men all came from well-off families, he responded, “Oh.”

The New York Times reported that they were all psychologically unstable and had difficult times in forming stable relationships with women. “The fact that they were Arabs and Muslims or their political views had nothing to do with the motives for this tragic act,” it explained. The newspaper urged that the main lesson coming out of the attack was the need to fight against Islamophobia and Arabophobia as well as for the United States to make more concessions in the Middle East and to impeach President George W. Bush.

The point of the above exercise is to make the following points:

--Individuals who commit terrorist acts often have psychological problems but the thing that justified, organized, and ensured that violence would be committed were political ideas.

--Whenever an individual who belongs to any group commits a crime, it is possible that some will stigmatize the entire group. Most Americans or Westerners today, however, will not do so. The most important issue is to identify why the terrorist act happened and what to look for (including which type of individuals) to prevent future attacks.

--When there is clear evidence that danger signs were ignored because people were afraid of being stigmatized for doing their job of protecting their fellows, that is a dangerous mistake that must be corrected.

--Someone who is "afraid" of being sent into a war zone is not likely to handle that cowardice by standing up with a gun in a suicide attack and shooting people until he falls to the ground with about four bullet wounds.
--The media can often be stupid but when it censors reporting for political or social engineering reasons, freedom is jeopardized. The correct phrase is: The public's right to know. It is not: The public has to be guided into drawing the proper conclusions by slanting and limiting information even if the conclusions being pressed on them are lies and nonsense.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan).

Hamas commends Israel for Shalit efforts

'Current gov't continuously occupied with swap deal, in contrast to former gov't,' says Hamas official

Roee Nahmias

Hamas signaled it was ready to press for a prisoner swap deal for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit Saturday. In an interview with the Israeli-Arab news site Al-Arab, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said that "if Israel is interested in a swap deal to put an end to this affair, we are ready from now".

Earlier a source affiliated with the negotiations for Shalit's release told Ynet that Hamas is expected to take a more positive stance in talks in an attempt to reach a successful deal while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas admitted failure by retiring from politics.

The source said Hamas was aiming at gaining ground with the Palestinian people and would thus be willing to make sacrifices in regards to the siege on Gaza and the prisoners demanded by the organization in return for the captive soldier.

But al-Zahar said Abbas's resignation had nothing to do with talks on Shalit. "The current Israeli government is continuously occupying itself with a swap deal, in contrast with the previous government, which would send an envoy and then disappear for months," he said.

He refused to comment further and said there was "a full blackout" of the details of the negotiations.